Jan Vertonghen was instrumental in Tottenham’s Champions League blowout against BVB. Usually lined up at center back, the Belgian found a new home at left back and was highly effective. This wasn’t the first time he’s shown his skill here.
Going into the match, neither side could be confident in a win. Both Spurs and BVB were without some of their best players and the ones in the starting XI needed to step up to get results. Pochettino chose Jan Vertonghen to be that man.
At first glance, Vertonghen may not be the best choice to produce on the attack. He’s not particularly fast, he’s nearing his 32nd birthday, and he was playing in a position that he rarely lines up in. Nevertheless, Poch saw something more and it paid dividends.
It took until the second half to see the pay-off. Still, up to this point, Jan ‘SuperJan’ Vertonghen did well in support on the attack, barreling down the left side and sometimes helping on defense. In the 47th minute, though, the game changed.
Vertonghen found himself with some space by the sideline, dribbled a bit, and found Heung-Min Son for a picture-perfect cross. While BVB were readying a counter of there own, the ball was stolen, which led to much space around Vertonghen and Son. The rest was like a training drill.
Much later in the match, the Belgian got one of his own. Again, it was partially thanks to a lack in concentration on BVB’s part. Spurs quickly took their free kick and Vertonghen noticed that no one was keeping an eye on him. He sprinted into the box, called for the ball, and Aurier found him for a tasty volley.
This isn’t the first time that Vertonghen was lined up as left back. He got some practice against Newcastle early this month and this also produced a win.
Pochettino is no doubt loving what he is seeing for his side and his make-shift left back. Tottenham’s weakest position is left back and they have plenty of center backs. Perhaps this means that we will be seeing a lot more of SuperJan flying down the left in weeks to come.